Aaron Neville: Sharing Edifying Messages in a Dark Time

Originally published with The Bluegrass Situation on August 3, 2016.

If musical styles were counted as lifetimes, then Aaron Neville has lived several. Known for his almost instantly recognizable falsetto, Neville has sung in all sorts of flavors throughout his 50-year career: doo wop, pop, gospel, country, soul, funk. You name it, he’s likely sung it. He rose to fame on the success of his 1966 R&B single “Tell It Like It Is,” but later performed funkier, grittier music with his brothers Art, Charles, and Cyril in the Neville Brothers. Then, of course, came the duets with Linda Ronstadt and Tricia Yearwood, which earned him three Grammys.

But while he’s matched his voice to many moods, it’s his newest album, Apache, that shows off a deeper, more intimate side to the singer. Combining many of the sounds that have informed his impressive repertoire, Apache feels like Neville’s big personal statement — one that just so happens to arrive as he turns 75 years old. He penned most of the album’s 11 tracks, setting his poetry to music as he’s done before in the past for the occasional song. “The stars had to be aligned and everything,” he says about why he waited so long to complete this project.

[Full article available at The Bluegrass Situation.]

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